I know, I know. The main thing you're worried about when you're going camping is, "What's the size of my air mattress in comparison to my tent?" Right. Well, this is a passing thought many people have on the way to the campsite, but by then, it's too late; you've already committed to an air mattress (or two) and a tent.
Like most people, you might be allergic to math in any form, but doing some quick calculations while shopping for your tent and air mattress will save you a headache later on. First, let's check out the dimensions of the standard air mattress sizes.
Air Mattress Sizes
- King: 6'4" x 6'8"
- Queen: 5'0" x 6'8"
- Full: 4'6" x 6'3"
- Twin: 3'3" x 6'3"
While most people take camping at a more leisurely pace, there are those who want to have a more adventurous camping adventure. Then weight of the air mattress becomes just as important as its dimensions. So if you're hiking far, double check the weights listed for both air mattresses and tents when shopping for your camping gear.
Not all tents are created equally. Even if you have two tents that both say they're 4-person, they still might be different sizes. For backpackers, the whole point of the tent is to sleep. You squeeze in next to another person and sleep shoulder to shoulder, and about 15 square feet is allocated for each person. Family camping is different. Generally you spend more time in the tent, and more space is needed to move around. For adults you're looking at 30 square feet per person, which is about 7 feet by 4 feet. This allows ample room for the air mattress, sleeping bag and other items. Two adults sharing an air mattress can combine their square footage, and take up less room in the tent.
As you examine the sizes of various tents, imagine how much room you'll need for the other items in your tent. If you get a 7' x 7' tent and think you can get your king air mattress in there, you're right; however, that leaves no room for anything else. You still want to be comfortable while camping, so consider everything that needs to go in the tent.
Another size to keep in mind is the height of the tent. If you're air mattress is in the middle of the tent, then it can be difficult to stand to your full height. If it's possible, push the air mattress to the edge of the tent so some of the middle space can be used to move around. For adults, aim to have a 6 or 7 foot peak in the tent, and for young children a 4 foot peak is just fine.
The height of the tent comes largely from the shape you choose. Tents come in a variety of types and shapes. The shape of the tent also has bearing on its size and weight. Here are a few common tent shapes:
A-Frame or Ridge Tent
Tent shape influences the kind of camping you're looking to do, and how long you need to carry the weight of the tent and air mattress. For tents, once you go bigger than an 8' x 8' tent it's going to be too bulky to carry for long distances. If you park your car next to your campsite, than it shouldn't be a problem.
You can check out our camping air mattresses here. On each product page we've listed the dimensions and the weight of the air mattress. Get your calculators out, and happy trails!